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Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables?
@Thomas Ray,

You left out the sentences before and after the one you quoted:

I'm making certain assumptions here. One, Hess and Philipp really are presenting a non-local scheme, as Gill says. (That remains an assumption, only because I haven't comprehended the argument entirely.)  

For the time being, I've moved on to the question about non-locality. Main reason: "Einstein was Right" isn't available in my local library, so I've ordered it, and put off further study until it arrives. It sounds like a good read and no doubt will help me get Hess's ideas.

Having said that: all things considered, I think Gill is probably right. But, that's not to say he IS right, until I understand it myself. BTW note the difference between Hess and Christian. Christian's paper is simple enough that I can agree with Gill's conclusion - that Christian made mistakes - from my own knowledge. Anyway, in a week or two I hope to get back to Hess & Philipp. For the time being I'm interested in Gell-Mann and (what seems clearly to be) his mistake.

In a sane world I wouldn't have to work so hard! If the physics establishment all agree on some point - Hess is wrong, for instance - I should be able to simply accept the expert opinion. But in this "insane" world, the biggest names in physics, such as Gell-Mann, Witten, Weinberg, Deutsch, and so on, are clearly illogical. They make assertions which are prima facie unjustified; plus they disagree with each other, so someone has to be wrong (probably all of them). The assertions I'm referring to are of the sort "Theory XYZ is obviously right", where XYZ can be String Theory, Many Worlds, Bekenstein-Hawking entropy, etc. They also say "there is definitely no XYZ", where XYZ is "absolute reference frame", "ether", "non-locality", etc. But these theories and assertions not only have no experimental support, they arguably can never have such support! It's because of this that Hess and other dissenters from the mainstream (such as Schmelzer) may, pending my own study, very possibly be right. Actually, Bell's theorem is really a minor point compared to this overarching problem with theoretical physics: the inmates have taken over the asylum.


jrdixon wrote:  I'm not familiar with the Gell-Mann quote, but my guess is that his doubt about nonlocality ...

It's not a doubt, but a certainty, and that's the problem. If someone says "I doubt non-locality" - or, "I think String Theory is right", or "I think there's no ether" - that's fine. But certainty is totally unjustified. Many are guilty of this logical fallacy; probably, it's about funding. These stubborn stances make reasoned discourse, and the progress of physics, extremely difficult.

The Elitzur et al paper is good. My dismissal of "time reversal" referred to "macro" time reversal, such as going back to 1963; not this subtle effect. I have no problem with it. Previously I defined "non-local" in terms of what one would have to do with a computer simulation to achieve QM results. As I defined "Property X", a computer program can't be retrocausal, so must use an orthocausal, simulated FTL signal. But that doesn't mean Nature must use that mechanism. I agree that retrocausality, as defined here, is another way to do it. Off the top of my head there's no way to distinguish between the two alternatives, but Elitzur et al mention such experiments might be possible.

It also helps me understand what you're getting at with your "forecast" idea. Without examining it in detail it seems another valid ontology, as I said before. But I think it's confusing to call it "local realism with forecasts" because the word "realism" is being stretched too far.

Until there's an experiment such as Elitzur et al hint at the distinction between these ontologies is philosophical and I lump them all under "Property X". It's very important to note: this QM weirdness is implicit in basic QM (two-slit experiment, for instance) without Bell, GHZ, or whatever. For QM to work at all requires something like Property X. The question addressed by Aspect experiment etc, is whether it still works when past light cones are appropriately separated. Back in 1927 Einstein noted this, and concluded there was a problem with QM. Evidently he was wrong, but there are still details to nail down.

So I consider Elitzur et al's retrocausality (and, probably, your "forecasting") as philosophical variants of "property X". Non-locality seems, to me, the simplest way to imagine Nature's mechanism. There are others, and they're worth considering; but until experiments can discriminate, they're FAPP equivalent.

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RE: Bell's theorem - for or against Hidden Variables? - by secur - 08-05-2016, 01:44 AM

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